Doing physical workouts is something many of us do on a regular basis. However, very few focus on doing the inner workouts that can build resilience. For the next few weeks, I will share ideas for mental resilience exercises to get our inner muscles shaped and ready and our mental space prepared for entering 2020.

Here is a simple exercise that you can use in your daily life. It is designed to be only 5 minutes in length (of course if you want to take it further and go deeper and longer with it, please do!) The more inner work you do, the more inner muscles you build!

For this week, we will start with a very simple yet incredibly beneficial mental exercise. Each day, the challenge for you is to set aside 5 minutes to practice gratitude. Gratitude means to take stock of things that we are grateful for.

Spending time looking for the good is TRULY IMPORTANT. Remember, our minds default to a negative bias for survival. We often get stuck in looking for what’s wrong or in being in “fear mode” or “worry mode” or “judgment mode” –focused on everything that we don’t like or want. This is a way for our brains to alert us to danger and issues so that we stay alive. However, when we get stuck in that mode, how do we end up feeling? Often, we get sad, depressed, frustrated, and stuck in our lives. We drain our physical energy with a focus on the negative.

The good news: we can proactively change this and create positivity muscles in our minds. The easiest way to do this is to leverage some of these powerful questions every single day:

What’s good in my life right now?

What am I grateful for?

What’s good in ME right now?

What’s good in the people around me?

What’s good ____________________ (you fill in the blank).

Pick the time of day that you know you can easily fit 5 minutes of gratitude into your life.

Set a timer for 5 minutes on your phone. Get out a piece of paper and a pen.

Take 5 minutes to write anything and everything you can think of that is good—that you are grateful for.

See if you can do this consistently for the next 7 days.

Notice how you feel before and after doing gratitude.

If you feel ready to dive in and do this exercise for the week ahead, please take a moment to indicate here in the comments that you are joining in. Share a few statements about why this will be good for you to do, and when you will do this on a daily basis. And, feel free to share with a friend and hold each other accountable!


I've been working with business and government leaders for 20+ years as a Senior Executive Coach (PCC, ICF) and Leadership Development and Positive Psychology Consultant. I help leaders apply positive psychology to awaken to their highest potential and leave a lasting positive impact in their own unique way. Learn More


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